Tuesday, June 25, 2013

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Fireworks Don’t Fly (On Airplanes)



While some fireworks fly high in the sky, they are never OK to pack in your carry-on or checked bags. It’s not that we don’t enjoy fireworks. Personally speaking, I to enjoy them. In fact, every Independence Day, I’m reminded of this quote from a letter that John Adams wrote to his wife:

"It [Independence Day] ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."

Had commercial aircraft existed then, I doubt that Adams would have suggested guns, bonfires, and illuminations in the cabin of an aircraft.

With that said, this is your annual reminder to be sure to leave your fireworks at home and not take them on the plane, in carry on or checked luggage. This includes fireworks such as aerial repeater fireworks, aerial shell fireworks, firecrackers, flying spinners, chasers, fountains, bottle rockets, ground spinners, parachute fireworks, poppers, snaps, skyrockets, missiles, roman candles, smoke fireworks, snakes, strobes, sparklers, wheels, you name it…

Be sure your children understand this as well... A violation certainly will get your travel plans off to a bad start.

Below are photos of fireworks that in the past have been found at TSA checkpoints.
 
Fireworks
Fireworks Discovered at TSA Checkpoints
Have a great holiday weekend and stay safe. Be sure to check out USA.gov’s Fourth of July page for all sorts of safety tips and cool information about Independence Day.

 
If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

20 comments:

Gloria said...

Nice job on this blog. Hard to believe you are still finding the items that you do.

Anonymous said...

Good to know- Thank you!

Mike Toreno said...

This is important. Unlike so many other things that the TSA searches for, fireworks do represent a threat to an aircraft. What's most important to remember is that if you bring fireworks to a checkpoint, there is a 70% chance that the TSA clerks won't notice, and your fireworks will get on a plane and might start a fire.

Anonymous said...

OK. I get why can´t fly with fireworks. It makes sense. But now please explain to me why I can´t fly with shampoo or toothpaste. It makes no sense to limit innocent objects because of their state of matter. Meanwhile, if I disguise TNT as a chocolate bar, I can easily get it on a plane.

Anonymous said...


“Not on my watch”: 50 Failures of TSA’s Transportation Security Officers

PDF Warning

A report from Congress regarding TSA. Now surely this cannot be off topic since it is from the United States Congress, those folks that have oversight of TSA and deals specifically with TSA issues.



Key Findings

The findings in this report provides a small snap shot detailing 50 crimes TSA
employees have been arrested for since 2005. This report does not highlight every arrest that has been made since 2005. Collectively, the crimes these individuals have been arrested for illustrates a deepening problem within TSA’s training and
hiring practices that makes the United States more susceptible to a domestic threat.


Theft………………………………………………………………...15

Sex Crimes (Rape, Molestation, Prostitution)………………………..8

Child Pornography………………………...........................................6

Assault……………………………………..........................................5

Bribery……………………………………..........................................3

Drugs…………………………………………………………………3

Illegal Firearms……………………………………………………….3

Airport Screening Failures…………………………………………...2

Murder………………………………………………………………..1

Conspiracy……………………………………………………………1

Impersonating a Federal Officer……………………………………...1

Driving Under the Influence……………….........................................1


Posted 06/27/2013

All First Amendment Civil Rights violations by the TSA, the TSA Blog, and TSA Blog team principles will be reported to the DHS OIG.


TSORon said...

Interesting information. Since 2005 just 50 members of the TSA have been found to have broken the law, of 55,600 or so. That means that just one member of every 1112 TSA employee’s has been shown to have broken a law or failed in their duties while screening (and only 2 of those in your account). Yet you also say that TSA training and hiring practices make our nation “more susceptible to a domestic threat.”

Employee theft rates (retail) nation-wide: 1 in 30
National “Sex Crimes (Rape, Molestation, Prostitution)”: 386 in every 100,000

And others. Pretty much what you quote shows that the TSA hiring practices do a far better job of screening out possible criminals than a vastly huge portion of the nations employers.

Anonymous said...

I have a blue plexiglass cane with a silver handle that vaguely looks like a light saber from Star Wars. Can I bring it onto the plane or will it be confiscated as a weapon?

Anonymous said...

Hey Ron,

How many of these general public criminals have regular, unfettered "gov't approved" access to our wallets, purses, cash, jewelry, luggage, electronics, etc. out of our sight (in the case of checked luggage) or surrounded by potential accomplices (in the case of checkpoints) with the "power" to threaten and assault people who protest?

None? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Anonymous said...

TSOron, you are either being disingenuous, or can't read.

The list of 50 TSA agents arrested was an example, not the entire list. it even says so in the report itself, "This report does not highlight every arrest that has been made.

The total amount of agents arrested is unknown, since the TSA won't release that information. However, given that JFK airport itself has seen more than 50 TSA employees arrested, you can guess.

Susan Richart said...

I guess TSORon must have missed the recent article about the mess the company that does background searches on government employees, including TSA, has left in its wake.

"Federal investigators have told lawmakers they have evidence that USIS, the contractor that screened Edward Snowden for his top-secret clearance, repeatedly misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks, according to people familiar with the matter."

This firm also does the background checks for the TSA, Ron.

The entire article can be found in June 27 on-line edition of the Washington Post.

Any violation of my First Amendment Rights will be reported to the DHS OIG.

IOW, I've made a screen shot.

Anonymous said...

To TSORon..Please address the large number of TSA employees who think they are special and demonstrate extremely rude, discourteous behavior toward the traveling public. I have been yelled at and treated like an animal more times than I can count. It appears to me that many TSA employees are of the opinion that they are better than the average person and don't need to show any respect when performing their duties. What is TSA doing to teach it's employees common courtesies?

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said...

"I have a blue plexiglass cane with a silver handle that vaguely looks like a light saber from Star Wars. Can I bring it onto the plane or will it be confiscated as a weapon?"

According to the TSA app a light saber is safe for carry-on or checked bag. As always the reality of your screening experience may differ dramatically from the official TSA rules. Happy flighting ;)

RB said...

TSORon said...
Interesting information. Since 2005 just 50 members of the TSA have been found to have broken the law, of 55,600 or so. That means that just one member of every 1112 TSA employee’s has been shown to have broken a law or failed in their duties while screening (and only 2 of those in your account). Yet you also say that TSA training and hiring practices make our nation “more susceptible to a domestic threat.”

Employee theft rates (retail) nation-wide: 1 in 30
National “Sex Crimes (Rape, Molestation, Prostitution)”: 386 in every 100,000

And others. Pretty much what you quote shows that the TSA hiring practices do a far better job of screening out possible criminals than a vastly huge portion of the nations employers.

June 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM
.....................


Well TSOron you once again demonstrate your lack of or inability of understanding.

How did you missed this sentence from the report?

Seems pretty clear that there were more than 50 arrests and I suspect you know that.

"This report does not highlight every arrest that has been made since 2005."

Wrong as usual.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...
"Interesting information. Since 2005 just 50 members of the TSA have been found to have broken the law..."

Are you intentionally misrepresenting the fact that this is just a sampling of arrests, not all arrests, which is stated very clearly in the comment? Or did you just not bother to read?

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
“To TSORon..Please address the large number of TSA employees who think they are special and demonstrate extremely…”

Easy Anon, you are expressing an opinion. While you are welcome to do so it does not mean that your opinion is an accurate representation of the facts. In most cases an individual’s opinion is an inaccurate representation of the facts, which is why it’s called an opinion. What you may consider “rude” others would consider an average part of their day. You can choose to take whatever you like in any way you like, but that is a decision you have made and you own it, no one else.

I hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Any violation of my First Amendment Rights will be reported to the DHS OIG.

IOW, I've made a screen shot.

July 1, 2013 at 7:42 AM
_____________________

And ? Is this the internet equivalent of "I'm gonna tell mommy!"?

Anonymous said...

To TSORon.... You are correct, I was expressing my opinion but I assure you I am most capable of recognizing rude, discourteous behavior when I see it no matter who is demonstrating that type behavior. Yelling at someone is at least rude and discourteous especially if it is coming from a public servant. Please don't try to tell me many TSA employees aren't rude and discourteous when dealing with the traveling public. There are too many posts on this site complaining about just that type of behavior. Your reply is just typical of the attitude of so many TSA employees by virtually saying we, the traveling public, have to accept any treatment we receive from TSA as long as TSA deems it appropriate. The arrogance of TSA and it's employees never ceases to amaze me.

TSORon said...

Sorry Anon, but in no way, shape, or form did I intimate that one should or must accept behavior that is unacceptable to them. In the case of TSO’s there is always an individual acting as supervisor for the checkpoint, one of their jobs is fielding complaints about the actions of behavior of their assigned employee’s. In fact TSA makes many venues available for someone like yourself to give voice to your concerns about what you consider unacceptable behaviors or actions. Below is the link for many of them.

I answered your post in a factual and very courteous manner, otherwise it would not have gotten past the moderators. You may “choose” to accept my answer as “arrogant” if you like, that is your choice, but it certainly was not intended to be such.

One of the things that many travelers miss is that most of the time when a TSO is raising their voice it is because we are addressing crowds, not individuals. Most people use some form of PA system to address large groups, but TSA does not use them. We try to make the checkpoint experience as easy as possible (given the circumstances) for as many people as possible. Additionally, checkpoints are typically noisy places and a general conversational tone rarely is heard more than one person back. We want as many people as possible to get the message that they have to take their laptops out or their shoes off, and to do so in such an environment one must overcome the other noise present. If you are the one standing in front of the TSO making the announcement it “may” seem like we are yelling at you, but in fact we are trying to get the information to those behind you. It’s not personal, it’s only practical.

But, if you see a TSO actually yelling at an individual, please take the time to voice your concerns as soon as possible to the nearest checkpoint supervisor. Only by knowing where we are getting it wrong can we have a chance of making it right.

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/travelers-filing-complaint

Anonymous said...

To TSORon.....Obviously I understand the need for one to raise one's voice when addressing a large group of people in a large, noisy, crowded area but the instances I am referring to involve a TSA employee addressing me and only me. The most recent example of this behavior occurred at ATL on 5 May of this year while being processed through lane 11. I was standing in the scanning machine being scanned, after the scan was complete the TSO yelled out me to leave the scanner. When I expressed my displeasure with him yelling at me, he just looked at me, smiled and said, “have a nice day”. I considered pressing the issue by filing a complaint with a supervisor but figured it wouldn’t make any difference anyway and would only cause problems and delay for me.
The example I cited is just typical of what I have experienced many, many times. You say I should file a complaint when I see a TSA employee yelling at someone so TSA can make it right. Your statement only brings a smile to my face since I don’t feel there is any urgency on the part of TSA to address any of their short comings or to “make it right”. I read about so many miss steps by TSA employees as they deal with the public and so very seldom do you read where any corrective actions have been taken to “make it right” or even a statement admitting the TSA employee was wrong. More often than not TSA’s only statement affirms that the TSA employee was following standard procedure. It appears to me that TSA is of the opinion that the traveling public can just take of leave it when it comes to air travel.

Anonymous said...

To TSORon.......One more thing. I'm 67 years old, I'm not accustom to being yelled at, and I take it very "personal" when anyone and I mean anyone yells at me when it isn't warranted. I do my best to treat others as I would like to be treated. I don't indiscriminately yell at anyone and I certainly don't expect to be yelled at by anyone when it isn't justified especially if all I'm doing is trying to travel via air.